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Whiplash 101 

 June 28, 2013

By  Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

OMechanicsville Virginia Chiropractor – It isn’t unusual for a person with whiplash to come through the doors at Stover Chiropractic, P.C..  The national average says that we will be in an auto accident every 7 years!  So in this post we will review the “nuts and bolts” of the whiplash injury or, whiplash associated disorders (WAD).

Whiplash diagnosis: The diagnosis of whiplash first and foremost requires a thorough history. Here, we discuss the factors leading up to the MVC (motor vehicle collision), the angle or direction of impact (front end, angular, side or T-bone, rear end), whether the head was pointed straight or rotated, whether the head hit anything inside the car, airbag deployment and any related injury, seat belt location and effectiveness, the conditions of the day (weather, road, lighting, etc.), the onset of each injured area including neck, upper/lower back, headache, memory loss, and radiating symptoms (time lapse to symptom onset), ER/ambulance involvement, the initial 24-48 hours, the point of maximum pain intensity, job and non-vocational capabilities, prior test results (x-ray, CT, MRI, lab, etc.), prior treatment effectiveness, and more! The physical examination centers on observation (posture, patient distress, mood); palpation or touching the injured areas; orthopedic tests (looking for positions that either relieve or increase symptoms); range of motion (how far forward, back, sideways, and in rotation can the head be voluntarily moved and its related level of comfort, speed/quality of motion); neurological exam (sensory, motor, cranial nerves, etc.); and special tests (x-ray, CT, MRI, lab, etc.) if not previously done.

Course of care: The type and length of treatment will vary based on the degree of injury (see last month’s “prognosis” discussion), the initial response to care (improvement vs. worsening), the compliance of the patient in modifying their activities, performing home-based care (ice, rest, exercise, etc.), and the patient’s motivation to get better. The latter may be partially dependant on factors like whether there is litigation planned or occurring, their belief that they will “get better,” and how the health care provider manages the care (the use of passive approaches where the patient must go and see the doctor vs. active approaches where the patient is taught how to self-manage through diet, exercise, activity modifications, education, etc.)

Treatment options: The patient has the choice of following a traditional medical model of initial anti-inflammatory medication, patient education, wait and watch, and/or a physical therapy referral. The chiropractic approach includes chiropractic adjustments (upper cervical chiropractic care–orthospinology in particular) patient education, anti-inflammatory approaches (ice – NOT HEAT, anti-inflammatory herbs), and exercise training.  A specific adjustment, when applied properly, has been found to return patients to work faster than other approaches with a shorter recovery time and is less costly and more satisfying. When comparing treatment options beyond 6 or 12 months, the differences are more subtle. Other treatment options include acupuncture, massage therapy, and various forms of exercise. When necessary, injections, narcotics, and other pharmaceutical options exist but are not recommended as initial care approaches. Behavioral and cognitive therapy can help people cope with chronic, permanent pain related problems. There are many approaches to the management of whiplash and the patient needs a “quarterback” or someone to help them with these decisions. This is perhaps the most important role of the chiropractor!

We realize you have a choice in where you choose your healthcare services. If you, a friend or family member requires care for whiplash, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.20130311-200124.jpg

Dr. Tripp Stover

Stover Chiropractic, P.C. –  Real. Simple. Healthcare.

stoverchiropractic.com

 

Location:

We are located at 9097 Atlee Station Road in Mechanicsville, Virginia, 23111.  This is a Hanover county address, but we are minutes from Glenn Allen, Innsbrook, Sandston, and Varina.  We also serve many people from King William and New Kent Counties.  Our close proximity to I295 means we are very easy to reach from anywhere in the Richmond Metro area.  Contact us: 804-559-1100

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.


Dr. Stover grew up in Richmond. He has been married to his wife Andrea since 2000 and they make their home in Mechanicsville with their children, Avery and Garnett.

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

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